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Full text of "Palestine as the hope of Jewish refugees."


THE LIBRARY 

OF 

THE UNIVERSITY 

OF TEXAS 

AT 
AUSTIN 



LESTINE 



AS THE HOPE OF JEWISH REFUGEES 



three Addresses Delivered at National Conference 
of United Palestrae Appeal, Washington, D, C. 

A SOLUTION FOR THE PALESTINE PROBLEM 

KU Hon. Alfred Duff Cooper 

THE CHALLENGE OF INTOLERANCE 

Alt*. Justice Frank Murphy 

PALESTINE AND THE WORLD JEWISH CRISIS 

Dr. Abba Hillel Silver 





u 






:' 



PA LESTI NE 

AS THE HOPE OF JEWISH REFUGEES 



Three Addresses Delivered at National Conference 
of United Palestine A-pfeal, Washington, D. C. 



A Solution for the Palestine Problem 

Rt. Hon. Alfred Duff Cooper 

The Challenge of Intolerance 

Mr. Justice Frank Murphy 

Palestine and the World Jewish Crisis 

Dr. Abba Hillel Silver 



Issued by 
UNITED PALESTINE APPEAL 

I I I FIFTH AVENUE NEW YORK CITY 



A SOLUTION FOR THE 
PALESTINE PROBLEM 



AS THE central American instrument for 
i. the rebuilding of Palestine, the United 
Palestine Appeal, which combines the fund- 
raising efforts of the Palestine Foundation 
Fund and the Jewish National Fund, has helped 
make possible the establishment of a Jewish 
community of 500,000 in Palestine. In 1940 the 
United Palestine Appeal will be called upon 
to provide larger resources than ever before, 
if Palestine is to absorb successfully 35,000 
refugees who came to its shores in 1939 and 
thousands of others who continue to find a 
home there, despite the war. 



By the RT. HON. ALFRED DUFF COOPER, 
Former First Lord of the British Admiralty 

FOR centuries the Jews, wandering from their own country, have 
ever longed to return to it. This is no new movement, because 
individuals at all periods of history have felt this nostalgia for the 
home of their origin. It has gone on from generation to generation. 
It has sprung up first in one land, then in another. It has never been 
universal, bur it has never been extinguished and, deep in the hearts of 
millions, it has burnt, an enduring flame. 

Finally, after the last world catastrophe, it seemed that the time had 
come when this long dream was going to come true. At last, a great 
country declared in an historic declaration in favor of making a reality 
of what had so long been only a vision. And, as the result of the peace 
treaties that were concluded at the end of the war, not one country 
only, but all those who were parties to the treaty, pledged themselves 
to use their best offices to create a Jewish National Home in Palestine. 

Twenty years have passed since then. These have been twenty years, 
on the whole, of tragic failure, but there have been exceptions to that 
failure. Here and there there have been bright instances, here and there 
there have been signs of promise, here and there there have been hopes 
fulfilled. 

The Success of Jewish Palestine 

What has been the history of this experiment during the twenty 
years? The Jews who have flocked back to Palestine have performed 
there what is little less than a miracle — they have made the desert 
flower; they have built up wealth where there was poverty; they are 
still employed upon that great task. They have increased the popula- 
tion wherever they have gone. Not only their own Jewish population, 



4 A SOLUTION FOR THE PALESTINE PROBLEM 

but the native population who were there at the time have multiplied 
owing to the increase of wealth and the increase of employment. Thus, 
surely, the work of the Jews in Palestine during these sad twenty years 
has been an exception to the many failures by which that period has 
been marked. 

What has been the result of that success? What is, alas, too com- 
monly in this world the result of success? It has been to provoke opposi- 
tion, envy and jealousy, that envy and jealousy sometimes fermented 
from other lands for political reasons, having no connection with the 
local dispute. That envy and jealousy has assumed proportions which 
have led to violence and to bloodshed. For a long time incidents of 
increasing seriousness have marked that endeavor to hinder the work 
that is being performed, to put spokes in the wheel, to prevent the 
carrying to its natural conclusion of a wonderful beginning. And, as 
we all know, the result has been enforcement of stern measures, mili- 
tary occupation, violence, bloodshed, death, execution— a tragic tale. 

It seemed that toward the end of this summer a new era was going 
to be introduced. There had been, as the result of these misfortunes, 
a special Royal Commission sent out to Palestine to inquire into the 
conditions, and to report— a commission of distinguished Englishmen, 
who delivered the report which, in fact, gave complete satisfaction to 
nobody, and which, therefore, was commended as being posstblv fair 
to all. V } 

At any rate, the Zionists, although they could not be expected to 
receive it with enthusiasm— I remember Dr. Weizmann himself de- 
scribed it to me as "Zionism without Zion," for Jerusalem was to be 
excluded from the part that was to be handed over to the Zionists— 
nevertheless showed their moderation, their reasonableness, by agree- 
ing to accept it and to do all that lay in their power to implement a 
program which was certainly fraught with difficulties, but which was 
at least an honest endeavor to find a solution for one of the most 
difficult problems of the age. 

That solution has never been implemented; it was decided not to 
carry out the recommendations of that Commission which the Zionists 
had accepted and which the Arabs had refused. 



By the RT. HON. ALFRED DUFF COOPER 5 

There were further inquiries, further hesitations, further uncer- 
tainty, and there is nothing worse in any political situation than uncer- 
tainty, because all the time that people are waiting for a decision the 
situation invariably goes from bad to worse. 

The Program of the White Paper 

And then there came, this summer, a new program, contained once 
more in a White Paper. I confess that to my mind that program was 
difficult to defend. I went so far as to protest against it in the House 
of Commons. It seemed to me that far from assisting in any way 
toward the solution of the Jewish question, it was going to create a 
new Jewish question in Palestine; that, after being tempted, lured, and 
encouraged to return to that country, thousands of Jews were eventu- 
ally to be left to their fate, remaining for all time a minority. Par*, 
ticularly those clauses which referred to immigration seemed to me 
singularly unfair, for the principle that inspired them was simply this: 
because, owing to terrible events in Europe, some destitute, unhappy 
refugees had succeeded in circumventing the regulations and in getting 
into Palestine without having gone through the proper legal forms, 
therefore those who had made no such attempt, those who were 
anxious to carry out the law and to abide by it were going to be 
prevented from returning to that land. To punish those who had 
observed the law for the crimes of those who break it, seems to me 
the opposite of justice or equity. 

I think I said in the House of Commons that it was just as if a 
schoolmaster were to say to his class, "Half the boys are playing truant 
today and are not here; therefore those who have come to school shall 
stay twice as long and be punished." 

Now there is a lull. Now, while the whole of Europe is thrown into 
the melting pot; now, while catastrophe upon the largest scale is 
looming up before an ever-darkening sky — now, peace, comparative 
peace, has fallen upon Palestine. To the credit of all concerned, 
nobody wishes to disturb Great Britain or cause her unnecessary anxiety 
or unnecessary responsibilities for the use of her armed forces in a 



6 A SOLUTION FOR THE PALESTINE PROBLEM 

time such as this. The lull surely should be taken advantage of in 
order to reconsider the whole question, and in order to arrive at a 
policy that shall be sound, one that can be implemented, and then 
one that will ultimately solve the whole problem. 

I think that that is the duty of those who are responsible for the 
government of that country at this time, those who are responsible for 
the carrying out of the mandate. 

It is all very well to say that when a great country is engaged in war, 
everybody's activities are so fully occupied that they have not time for 
this, that and the other. That is not the case in England today. There 
are hundreds and thousands of men who have plenty of leisure, dis- 
tinguished men, men who have occupied the most responsible posi- 
tions, men who can look back upon careers which would enable them 
to give invaluable advice to those in authority. There are plenty o£ 
people in England today who have plenty of time to give to the con- 
sideration of the future of Palestine. 

It may not be — indeed, I do not think it is — the time to attempt to 
put into force any new decisions, but it is the time when the new 
decisions should be prepared, so that they shall not be rushed through 
too hastily when the duty and the task of peace-making is finally faced. 

The Failure of British Administration 

Now, in my opinion, the British Administration of Palestine has 
failed. It has failed, not, I think, because it was undertaken in any- 
thing but the right spirit. I am convinced that those who have been 
responsible for the administration of Palestine these twenty years have 
deliberately attempted to find some way of dealing with the situation 
which should give absolute fairness to both portions of the popula- 
tion, to treat Jew and Arab alike, to encourage them both to live on 
friendly terms and to hope that they, amongst themselves, will be able 
to share equally, fifty-fifty, in the government and in the control of the 
production, the wealth and the future of the country. That was the 
principle that lay at the basis of Great Britain's policy. 

I believe the policy has failed, not only, or certainly not principally, 
because of any mistake of administrators on the spot, though they may 



By the RT. HON, ALFRED DUFF COOPER 7 

not have been perfect, and though some of them may have been biased 
in one direction or the other. I believe it has not failed for that reason 
nor has it failed through any graver international causes. It has failed 
because the basis itself was unsound and because in that particular 
corner of the earth, as in nearly every other country throughout the 
world, one race has got to be the dominant race and one race has got 
to be the inferior. The dominant race may, should, and no doubt 
would treat the other race with consideration and fairness, give them 
access to every path to success, to fame and to honor; but where there 
are deep divisions, not only racial but religious, there must be one side 
which feels that here it is their right to say what shall be done. Having 
said what is right, and having carried out what they believe to be fair, 
they can look the whole world in the face and ask of the whole world 
to judge whether they have dealt fairly with their neighbor or no. 

But, so long as there are two races on exactly level terms, holding 
such deeply different views on some of the fundamental facts of life, 
both in this world and the next; while those two races seek, even with 
the best will in the world, to share quite evenly in the control of the 
country, they are seeking to attain the impossible. 

In this period of the world's distress, we should not fix our aims too 
high. We should not hope for the impossible. We should not endeavor 
to produce a state of affairs that so far as I am aware has never existed 
in any land, a state in which two nations, two ancient nations, share 
equally the rights, the privileges and the powers that men most desire 
in any civilized community. 

A Fake Policy 

This policy has failed not because it was not sincerely adopted, or has 
not been sincerely carried out, but because it was a policy false in its 

foundations. 

The next inevitable conclusion must be that in future the manda- 
tory power must regard this question with bias upon one side or the 
other They have tried to treat it without bias, without favoritism, 
and they have failed. Therefore, in the future they must adopt some 
bias Then comes the question: On which side should the bias be? The 



8 A SOLUTION FOR THE PALESTINE PROBLEM 

old story, about' which there has been so much dispute, has been gone 
over often regarding the promises given in the stress of the Great War; 
the promises given by this government or that, the letters that were 
written, the speeches that were made, the notes that were exchanged. 
It has been maintained that Great Britain, in her endeavor to keep 
her promises to both sides, has broken them to both. That may be 
true, but that is ancient history; that belongs to a period which is 
already receding into the past. 

The mere fact, if it is a fact—and I maintain it is— that every effort 
has been made to carry out all those promises, even when they were in 
conflict with one another; the fact that an effort has been made to 
carry them out renders them now part and parcel with the time to 
which they belong, something that need no longer be so closely and 
meticulously regarded with a legalistic eye. 

Now, let us consider what has happened in the interval, what has 
happened since igi4 to the two peoples most closely concerned. 



The Arab Position — 1914-1940 

In 1914 there was hardly any territory which the Arabs could call 
their own. They were almost throughout the Near East subject to 
Turkish suzerainty. Since 1914, they have acquired vast tracts of terri- 
tory where they are independent: the whole of Arabia; Trans-Jordania, 
which was taken away from the original conception of Palestine; Syria, 
where again they exercise semi-independent rights. No nation in the 
world has so little ground for complaining of what the Germans call 
lack of lebensraum as the Arab race. They have vast spaces in which 
to expand. They have been amongst the greatest beneficiaries of the 
World War, and now they are subject to no particular evils. They are 
in no way worse off. In fact, they are in many ways very much better 
off than they were twenty or twenty-five years ago. 

And what, meanwhile, has happened to the Jews? Did anybody 
imagine when Balfour made his Declaration, when we were at war for 
four and a half years; when the Treaty nf Versailles and the accompany- 
ing treaties were signed, did anybody imagine what was going to 






By the RT. HON, ALFRED DUFF COOPER 9 

happen in the Continent of Europe in the years to come? Could any- 
body, believing in progress, in human nature and in Christian civiliza- 
tion, have dreamt of the ghastly, hideous and shocking persecution 
that has befallen the Jewish race? 

The Burden on Christendom 

These events are a shame, an abiding shame, not only upon the 
people who are responsible for them, but to some extent upon all 
European nations, and indeed upon the whole of Christendom. 

For Germany and the Germans, they will constitute a stigma which 
that people will not live down for centuries. But for us also, for us who 
have stood by and watched, who have expressed in forceful language 
our horror and our indignation; but yet have allowed these things to 
go on, and have discussed terms and treaties and friendship with the 
people who were committing these abominable crimes—for us also, 
there is a share, a minor share, to be borne of this great shame. 

Ages are remembered, alas, more often, by the crimes that are com- 
mitted in them than for the good they bring forth. We speak of the 
times of the Spanish Inquisition; we speak of the times of the Emperor 
Nero, forgetting all the good, wise men who lived in both those periods, 
and all the good things that were done by innumerable human beings. 
It may be that in centuries to come people will speak of this age not 
as the age of the World War, not as the age of two World Wars, but as 
the age of Jewish persecutions. Our descendants will wonder, "What 
were our grandfathers like? Could they have been civilized and made 
no protest, could they have allowed these things to be and not have 
sought some remedy to set them right?" 

Promises to Jews Should Be Redoubled 

These things being as they are, it seems to me that the claim of the 
Jewish people upon Christendom, and upon Great Britain particu- 
larly, is far stronger today than it has ever been before, and that any 
promises that we made twenty years ago we should wipe out now and 
redouble. 

We can do that. I believe in all sincerity we can do that without 



io 



A SOLUTION FOR THE PALESTINE PROBLEM 



By the RT. HON. ALFRED DUFF COOPER 



11 



inflicting any serious injury upon a single Arab. There is so much 
suffering in the world today that the little inconvenience, the possible 
disappointments, the heart-burnings and the regrets which would be 
felt by those against whom the decision went, would seem but a tea- 
spoonful in the world's vast sea of sorrows. We should say now to the 
Jewish people and to the Arabs, toor 

"This small corner of the world from which the Jews came, such a 
small corner for such a great people to demand, is going in the future 
to be the Jewish home; and there and there only they shall eventually 
be sovereign. There they shall decide the numbers of the immigrants 
and the conditions of immigration, and for you others who do not 
wish it, we are prepared to make every concession and give you every 
assurance. We will see that you receive the fairest treatment any 
minority could demand. We will see, through a system similar to that 
which now exists, of reports to the League of Nations or reports to 
Great Britain, or reports to anybody whom you may choose, that you 
are fairly treated, and those who wish to leave the land and emigrate, 
we will assist to emigrate. We will insure that they have a fresh start in 
some part of the Eastern territory, so broad and long, in which they 
naturally belong. This is not like moving them to a new continent or 
moving them even into a new country, but moving them simply into 
territories where Arabs have lived for generations, and where Arabs 
and Arabian peoples are living today." 

If we were to say this, they should have nothing to fear from that 
solution. No man likes to leave his home, but in comparison with the 
suffering that is being almost universally inflicted, how little suffering 
would be there involved? A few hundreds or thousands perhaps of 
people would find new homes under new skies, with assistance, with 
care, with aid, and with guarantees. Those on the other hand, who took 
what I believe they would find the wiser view, and remained where 
they were, would be allowed to share in all the prosperity which would 
undoubtedly grow up in Palestine if it were left to the cultivation and 
the ruling of the Jewish people. 

And so much for the future of the Arabs. What of the future of the 
Jews? 




It is a dark future for them today. It is almost too terrible to con- 
template. For years it has been steadily deteriorating, and the tales 
that now reach us, few and fearful out of Poland, make one feel that 
it is still getting worse and worse, even when we believe that the worst 
had been reached and the bitterness of death was past. 

What would be the future? Would it entail simply a Jewish country, 
and would the Jews in other countries be alien? Would they feel that 
that was their nation, that that was their home, and therefore they 
could no longer be loyal subjects of whatever country in which they 
lived? 

A Fallacious Conception of Zionism 

I believe that idea to be profoundly fallacious. The whole trend of 
our times should be away from narrow nationalism. And I believe that 
this particular question, this question of Zionism, should serve us as 
a guide and an indication of the road we should take in international 
affairs generally. 

At the present time the democratic powers of Western Europe are 
engaged in a life and death struggle with the great totalitarian power 
of Germany, supported as she is to some extent by the still greater 
totalitarian power of Russia. It seems to me that the future will decide 
something more important than victory on land or sea, and that there 
is a danger, greater perhaps even than defeat in war, greater than hav- 
ing our armies smashed and our ships sunk. It is the danger of having 
our minds perverted and our souls lost. 

There is a danger that even while we win the war, which, incidentally, 
I am confident we shall do; even while we defeat the forces of the 
enemy on sea, on land and in the air, there is a clanger lest their ideas 
may defeat us, and lest we may emerge from the conflict nearer to being 
totalitarian powers than we ever were before, having subconsciously 
absorbed, while fighting, the very ideas which we are fighting to 
destroy. There is a growth in the world today of the spirit that the 
state is almighty, that the race is all-important, and of the narrow 
autarchic national spirit. Should that triumph in the world, it would 
be the greatest of all tragedies. We should not think that because a 



12 



A SOLUTION FOR THE PALESTINE PROBLEM 



man is born o£ a particular race, or because he lives in a particular 
territory, that therefore his whole being, his whole mind, should think 
merely as the people living in that territory think; and that if his 
thoughts stray aside, he is necessarily a traitor to the land he lives in. 
That is the doctrine which is being enforced on the unfortunate 
German people at this day. They are being told that every man must 
think one thing, every man must believe in one leader, every man must 
say the same thing, and he must almost say it at the same time as every 
other man. That is the degradation of humanity. 



The New Spirit — Cooperation 

There is another spirit. There is a spirit which believes that a man 
should have first and foremost nearest to his own heart his own belief 
in what is right and wrong; that after that, he should serve loyally the 
country in which he lives, the community to which he belongs, and do 
all in his power to render them service both in war and in peace. He 
may at the same time feel an especial loyalty to some special race to 
which he belongs, something older, possibly, than the land he lives in. 

We have many examples of it within our OAvn British Commonwealth 
of Nations. For generations in the past the Scottish and the English 
people fought one another. It was only 400 years ago that they were 
arrayed in battle, the last of many bloody battles against one another, 
a long tradition of hatred and enmity. It is all gone. It has disappeared. 
It is unthinkable, and yet there is retained among the Scottish people 
a profound and deep pride of race. Wherever they go throughout the 
world, and there are thousands of Scots in this country, they remain 
proud of Scotland. They sing the Scottish songs and tell the Scottish 
stories and look after the Scottish poor wherever they find them. But 
does anybody in the United States suspect that a man, because he is a 
Scotsman, cannot be a loyal American? And if he loves, when he has the 
opportunity, to travel across the sea and visit the home of his father 
and spend happy days in the old country, does anybody think he is 
going there to plot the downfall of the United States? 

That is the right spirit which should infuse the new world; the spirit 



By the RT. HON. ALFRED DUFF COOPER 



»3 



that races can mix with one another and yet retain the pride of race; 
that they can go forth into new countries and confer great benefits to 
those countries by their own methods and the traditions which they 
have inherited; and that they can become loyal citizens of that country. 
That is the new spirit of cooperation which will have to infuse the new 
world unless the world is going to fall into despair and destruction, and 
into little autarchic bodies of particular nations fighting against one 
another, and occasionally subjecting one another, as today the Germans 
are subjecting the Poles and the Czechs, to humiliation and servitude. 
Unless that is to be the solution, the other spirit, of mixing with one 
another and not being suspicious on the grounds of race, is the one 
that must embody the hopes of the new world. In that world I believe 
that when the principle that I have suggested is firmly established in 
Palestine, when the dream of Zion has come true, there will be Jews 
in America, in England, in France, in whatever country you like, who 
will be loyal Americans, loyal Frenchmen, loyal Englishmen, and none- 
theless loyal because they know that far away, in the ancient land from 
which they came, they still have a habitation and an asylum and a home. 



THE CHALLENGE OF 

INTOLERANCE 

By FRANK. MURPHY, 
Associate Justice, Supreme Court of the United States 

FOR many of the human family, the period we live in is one of 
heartbreak and tragedy. Helplessly, the humble, unknown thou- 
sands whose only wants are bread and peace, see their homelands over- 
run by invading armies, their homes and fields ravaged by the lightning 
strokes of war. Life for them is a nightmare of destruction and hate, 
too horrible to be believed, if it were not that the harsh farts lie before 
their eyes. 

In such an era, earnest efforts on the other side of the ledger — 
endeavors to find and to build homes for the homeless and oppressed 
— must come to all men of good will as a source of cheer and en- 
couragement. 

To one like myself who was brought up from early childhood to read 
and revere the Bible as the Book of books, Palestine is not simply a 
distant country, nor are the people who first made it the Holy Land 
simply another race. The Land of the Book and the People of the 
Book are peculiarly part of the religious heritage of civilized men. 

And so it is that your efforts to help build a sanctuary for the harried 
and homeless of the Jewish people have a mighty appeal to those of 
us of other faiths and races who still find refuge, when the world about 
us seems the darkest, in the spiritual teachings of the humble prophets 
who dwelt in Zion and in Galilee many centuries ago. 

We recall that America itself came into being at the hands of harried 
and homeless people, searching for the blessings of peace and freedom. 
Remembering their great struggle, we sympathize the more with this 
effort of yours to create in Palestine a haven of refuge and a center of 
culture where your kith and kin, free from oppression and persecution, 
can find life and peace in the land of their forefathers. 

14 



By MR. JUSTICE PRANK MURPHY 



»5 



Enlightenment Protects Man's Gains 

The forces of enlightenment today are not those which resist all 
change or the forces which favor any change. They are, instead, the 
forces which seek to achieve, in time, such improvements in the estab- 
lished order of things as may be necessary to protect in a moving world 
the gains which civilized men through centuries of struggle have 
acquired. 

That, essentially, Is the aim of the forces of enlightenment, the 
forces of religion and true conservatism, without regard to political 
partisanship, in this country and other countries where the lamps of 
reason have not been extinguished. 

But in large sections of the world where the lamps of reason have 
gone out or have flickered low, the enlightened effort to improve the 
lot of all men has given way to a resurgence of bigotry and intolerance 
as cruel and as barbarous as history has ever recorded. And today, as 
in the olden time, it is the Jewish people — homeless and so the least 
able to defend themselves — who have suffered first and suffered the 
hardest. Once again, they have served as the most readily available 
scapegoats for those who accept force as their gospel and find virtue 
in refusing to be guided by the laws of reason or the laws of God. 



Intolerance as a Smokescreen 

But the world will make a grave mistake if from these facts it con- 
cludes that the revival of intolerance is primarily or peculiarly a Jewish 
problem. For already it is apparent that the Jews are serving not 
merely as a scapegoat but as a smokescreen to conceal more aggressive 
designs of power-mad men. Already those who started out and who 
continue to bait the Jews are baiting Protestants and Catholics when- 
ever they find that they have the force to succeed and that the loot 
makes their effort worthwhile. The worship of force is not only anti- 
Jewish, it is anti-Christian, it is a revolt against reason and God. 

This is not a lesson for Europe alone, or simply for lands other 
than our own. It is a lesson that Americans, also, need to learn and 



1.6 



THE CHALLENGE OF INTOLERANCE 



to carry with them through life as an inseparable part of their citizen- 
ship. 

For the virus of anti-Semitism has made itself felt here as well as 
abroad, 

The purveyors of hatred, the provokers of division and strife, the 
swaggering apostles of force and violence, are methodically and with 
premeditation laboring to bring to the United States the same condi- 
tions of group hatred and civil war that have destroyed the peace of 
Europe. Treacherously, they camouflage their true nature by repre- 
senting themselves to the unwary as defenders of God, America, and 
the Constitution. Unscrupulously, they stir up riots in the city streets, 
they intimidate peaceful citizens, they invade meetings, and they 
peddle as truth the malicious lies which people of their ilk have 
invented to blacken those whom they hate. 

Some of this professional hate-mongering, government can and will 
combat through the laws of the land. But in the main, American 
democracy must look for its defense to the wisdom of the people and 
their determination not to be led on the paths that have taken other 
peoples to communism and fascism. 

Not guns nor battleships will ultimately preserve democracy, but the 
devotion of a people who have the good sense to realize that intolerance 
is no respecter of persons — that once unleashed it has no regard for 
religion or race or economic status, or least of all, for that dignity of 
the individual which lies at the basis of our civilization. Democracy 
in America will be saved if, as a people, we are wise enough to know 
that if we do not respect others" faiths, the day may come when other 
men will not respect our faiths. 

The Refugees—A World Problem 

The refugee problem is not a problem of or for any one race or 
religion, it is a challenge to civilized man the world over. In helping 
to give your people or any people a chance to live a free life in a free 
country, we are helping to do our part to preserve justice and liberty 
in a civilized world. We arc not merely relieving suffering and distress, 



By MR. JUSTICE FRANK MURPHY 



*7 






we are helping to preserve for ourselves and our posterity those ideas 
and spiritual values without which life would be a barren and brutish 
thing. 

There are some things in this era of transition on which we all 
cannot agree — some matters of national policy about which there are 
bound to be honest differences of opinion. 

But there is one question of policy that should not and must not 
divide us. Should it eventually do so, the end of American democracy 
will not be far behind. 

That policy is the creed of tolerance which for a century and a half 
has sustained civil liberty and representative government in this land. 

There is no hope for us in turning away from that policy. And those 
who preach that we will prosper by doing so preach a black and 
destructive doctrine. They preach a doctrine that is the betrayal of 
everything that the Fathers of the Republic hoped and planned for. 
They preach a philosophy that can bring nothing but hate and misery 
and ruin to this nation which has become great only through harmony 
and mutual faith among those who built it. 

America Founded as a Partnership 

America was not built by anti-Semitism, or anti-Protestantism, or 
hatred for the Catholics, or by the fantastic doctrines of racial superi- 
ority that are practiced elsewhere. America was built to greatness by a 
partnership of men and women who represent every race and national- 
ity that inhabits the globe. The good things of life that you and I 
enjoy we owe not to Catholics alone, or Jews alone, or Englishmen or 
Irish alone — we do not owe them to Aryans or non-Aryans alone, or to 
white or black alone — we owe them to all God's children of every color 
and nation and creed — to all God's children whom He loves each alike 
with that same love which "passeth all understanding." 

What folly, what awful tragedy, what disloyalty, to talk of dissolving 
that God-inspired partnership now when democracy needs it mostl 

America's mission is not the propagation of hate. Our mission is 
that of helping to prove that only in peace and brotherhood will men 



iS THE CHALLENGE OF INTOLERANCE 

find happiness on this earth. Our mission is to show that by reasonable 
and peaceful means, men of different natures can build a common 
security in which justice and liberty are denied to none. 

To those who ask if we are worthy of such an errand, let us give the 
answer of a nation united in its friendship for those who are oppressed, 
disdainful of any who would take away from us the matchless blessing 
of our friendship for each other. 



PALESTINE AND THE WORLD 
JEWISH CRISIS 

By DR. ABBA HILLEL SILVER, 

National Chairman, United Palestine Appeal 

A YEAR ago we met under the sign of a complex of ideas which 
have come to be known to history as "Munich." Today we meet 
again under the sign of the second World War for which Munich was 
the prelude. Between last January and this there stretches a stupefy- 
ing year, a vicious and a brutal year of aggressions, invasions and con- 
quests finally climaxed by a war which was long dreaded and long 
expected. 

For our people this last year has been an appalling one in which our 
fortunes touched bottom. Disasters piled on one on top of the other. 
Jewish persecution widened in area and increased in intensity. To the 
shattering tragedies of German and Austrian Jewries there were 
added, in the last twelve months, the tragedies of the Jewries of Czecho- 
slovakia and Poland. Consequent upon the dissolution of Czechoslo- 
vakia another 300,000 Jews were brought under the brutal heel of the 
Nazis who promptly proceeded to apply their coldly calculated annihila- 
tionist technique against the Jews of that dismembered country. Four 
months ago the great Jewish community of Poland, numbering 3,000,000 
souls, was swept by fire and sword. This disaster is so recent and so 
vast that it cannot even by crystallized in thought. Poland! — that abun- 
dant spiritual and intellectual reservoir of our people for centuries, the 
home of world-famous Rabbinic academies and scholars, of Chassidism, 
the Haskalah, the seed-bed of Hebraic culture, the stronghold of 
Zionism from which have gone forth so many thousands as pioneers to 
Palestine and so many carriers of Jewish thought and traditions to all 
parts of the earth — Poland! — where Jews learned self-government and 
self-consciousness to a degree not reached elsewhere — Poland is today 



»9 



20 



PALESTINE AND THE WORLD JEWISH CRISIS 



a torn and tortured land under two tyrannies: the one fatal to the 
spirit of the Jew, the other to the body and the spirit. 

This last year has been a year of flight for our people, a year of 
refugees, of stripped and helpless exiles, crowding the highways of the 
world, wandering over the face of the earth in quest of refuge and 
sanctuary — and finding most doors barred against them. Into exile 
have gone myriads of our people, even as their forefathers before them. 
From countries and homes where they had known dignity, power and 
wealth, Jews, in ever-mounting numbers, have been forced either to 
wander forth bewildered and disillusioned into a bewildered and 
disillusioned world, or to remain trapped, and doomed to infamy, 
degradation and slow starvation. 

It has been a year of intensified anti-Semitic agitation everywhere 
and of a systematic, cynical and cunning exploitation of Jew-baiting 
as a political weapon in the hands of parties, governments and empires. 

Altogether, this has been a black year, one of the blackest in our 
history, and it climaxes a quarter of a century of mounting calamities. 

A Quarter Century of Retreat 

For mankind as a whole, this quarter of a century has been one of 
tragic retreat in every field of the human spirit. "In the 19th century," 
wrote Victor Hugo, "war will be dead, the scaffold will be dead, hatred 
will be dead, frontiers will be dead, royalty will be dead, dogmas will 
be dead — man will begin to live\" Here we are in the beginning of the 
fifth decade of the 20th century, and war is not dead, the scaffold is not 
dead, hatred is not dead, frontiers are not dead, royalty is not dead — 
and man is beginning to die. The vista which stretches before our 
generation seems to end at the edge of a wilderness. The human spirit 
stands today frightened, weighted down with apocalyptic foreboding, 
as if awaiting the crash o£ doom. 

In this nigh universal blackout for mankind generally and for our 
people specifically are there discernible any faint shimmers of light, 
any fugitive gleams in the dark, to tell that life is still going on within 
the heart of the darkness, to arouse the hope that the creative mind and 






By DR. ABBA HILLEL SILVER 



21 



heart of mankind and of Israel are still bent upon their eternal tasks, 
unbroken and undefeated? Or has mankind resigned itself to the domi- 
nation of the new barbarism, and has Israel, beaten dumb by prolonged 
torment and misery, also resigned itself to calamity and death? 

To the discerning eye there are strong indications that neither man- 
kind, in its quest for freedom and a decent way of life, nor Israel, in its 
quest for freedom and the right to live, has reconciled itself to any such 
defeat. The darkness is here, of course, thick and almost impenetrable, 
but within that darkness there burn the inextinguishable fires of God! 
The challenge which was hurled at civilization by tyranny, brute force 
and neo-Paganism has at last been taken up. The eternal, irrepressible 
conflict has finally broken out, and this time the free spirit of man is 
armored and on the offensive, no longer in retreat, dazed, bewildered 
and beguiled. The Empire of insolence and iniquity, which has raged 
in all its might and fury and befouled the earth, is now cornered, and 
trapped. It is fighting desperately for its mean and savage life. The 
outcome of the struggle no one can foresee. But it is greatly heartening 
to know that the triumphant march of Medievalism which threatened 
to sweep over the entire earth has been checked, and that men, by the 
millions, are now mobilized, physically and spiritually, to destroy it. 
It is heartening also to know that that loathsome dump of putrefying 
propaganda, lies, and race obsessions which the Nazis deposited in the 
world, to the incalculable hurt of our people, is fast being cleared away 
by the same hands which are set to destroy the Nazi regime itself. 

A New Solidarity Forged 

For our people there have been two cheering lights in the darkness. 
One has been the manifestation of solidarity, group loyalty and respon- 
sibility on the part of our people, in all sections and in all parts of the 
world. We were not found wanting. A great testing hour did not find 
us a small people. Israel responded to the attacks made upon it as 
would a living, healthy and sensitive organism. It quickly rallied and 
organized, to save, to succor, to defend. The body of our people was 
hurt in a thousand places, but its spirit not only remained uncowed 
and unbeaten but emerged even stronger, more sensitive, more vibrant. 



22 



PALESTINE AND THE WORLD JEWISH CRISIS 



As ever, the wings of our souls moulted through contact with evil and 
suffering. Many afflictions have come upon us in recent years, but not 
the greatest of all — the loss of faith in our power of survival, in the 
heroic quality of our national destiny and in the essential worth and 
dignity of our own lives. 

The other light in the all-encircling gloom of our world has been 
Palestine. In spite of the impoverishment, persecutions and exhaustion 
of recent years which made of the whole household of Israel one vast 
hostelry of pain, in spite of the frightful disruption of numerous old 
centers of Jewish life, our people was nevertheless able to find within 
itself the energy, the courage, the resources and the resourcefulness to 
build in Palestine in twenty short years a new and resplendent center 
of Jewish life, already the fifth largest Jewish center in the world and 
certainly the first and foremost in the richness of its culture and the 
vitality of its spirit. The ten thousand evidences given daily in Palestine 
of renewal and resurrection, of dead spirit revived, of broken bodies 
made whole again, of building upon ruins, of courage, of vision, of 
hope, of self-sacrifice are an imperishable epic of splendor, the like of 
which our own people or any other people has not written at any time 
in its history. If one wishes to see — not to understand, for it is not 
within the realm of comprehension — the miracle and the mystery which 
is Israel, let him go to Palestine in these very disastrous and war-ridden 
days — days of wrath and Golgotha for our people in the Diaspora — 
and watch with anointed eyes the undefeated strength, the overarching 
confidence, the superb zeal and energy, the social vision and the per- 
sonal idealism which are being poured into the work of rebuilding our 
national life in our national home. What is being done there and how 
it is being done, what common folk, transfigured by an ideal, can achieve 
is a tribute not only to our people and to their sires who begot them 
but to humanity itself. 

Palestine — The Lasting Home 

Here a people — resolved to live and not to die — is shouting defiance 
to a world bent upon its destruction. Here it is building upon strong 
foundations a lasting home to replace the tabernacles which have 



" 



By DR. ABBA HILLEL SILVER 



23 



proved so frail and impermanent in so many parts of the earth. Here 
hope is restored to men robbed of hope, and pride to the humbled, and 
the gift of mission and destiny to those cut off, spiritually dispossessed, 
and cast out of all inheritance. Here beauty is given them for ashes, 
and the lost kingdoms of both worlds are restored to them. 

All this is warm, comforting light in the dark night which has fallen 
upon us. The very evils of our day may yet yield their compensations 
and redress. Our people is discovering for itself the truth which its wise 
but unheeded leaders sought to impress upon it — that in all other lands 
we are forever dependent, subject to the life-programs, strategies and 
national interests of other peoples. We are nationalized or alienized 
at their will. Only in a homeland of our own can we become the artifi- 
cers and fashioners of our own destiny. 

Our people is also relearning the lesson which some leaders of 0111 
people have not learned even to this day — that philanthropy alone, 
however generous, is no solution of the Jewish problem. What have 
we to show for the vast relief funds spent in Central and Eastern Europe 
in the last twenty-five years, for the untold millions which were ex- 
pended in those countries for relief and reconstruction? Nothingl 
It was necessary work but unavailing as permanent measures of rehabili- 
tation. The tragedies of persecution and homelessness which elicited so 
much of generous giving from our people in the years immediately 
following the World War have now been magnified ten-fold. They have 
reached such a stage that even our philanthropy stands baffled and 
helpless. Not only because our resources are unequal to the magnitude 
of the relief problem, but it is not even allowed to reach the objects of 
its solicitude where it could help. 

In Palestine We Are Free to Build 

Only in Palestine have national expenditures been converted into 
permanent national investments. Only in Palestine have relief funds 
been converted into constructive achievements. Palestine has a splen- 
did, growing and productive Jewish community of over 500,000 souls to 
show for the investments in substance and in effort which were made 
in it in the last few decades. Only Palestine, of all the countries which 






24 



PALESTINE AND THE WORLD JEWISH CRISIS 



have received financial support from world Jewry, can point to hun- 
dreds of new colonies, settlements, villages, towns and cities, to schools, 
to colleges, to a university, to a national library, to a medical center, to 
a full complement of social agencies and institutions, to a revived 
Hebrew language and culture, and to a teeming, vigorous and happy 
Jewish life, as evidence of the productive value of such support. And in 
Palestine alone we are still free to build, and that in spite of political 
restrictions and war conditions. 

We are not underestimating the difficulties, nor ignoring the checks 
and setbacks in our building work in Palestine. We have encountered 
very serious difficulties in recent years — die political dangers of the 
White Paper, and the considerable economic derangements caused first 
by the disturbances within the country and now by the war. But these 
are problems whirh are solvable, and which from time to time confront 
every normal nation. In the life of a people success and failure each 
casts the shuttle to the other. "It is provided in the essence of things," 
declared the poet Walt Whitman, "that from any fruition of success , . , 
shall come forth something to make a greater struggle necessary." But 
the right to struggle and to fight is in itself a supreme privilege of a 
free people. In Palestine we possess this privilege. 

We are therefore resolved to go forward in our appointed tasks, 
undismayed by the terrible plight in which so many of our people find 
themselves, undeterred by political frustration, unwearied by the furious 
battle which we are forced to fight on so many fronts. We must avoid 
the "frantic" approach to our problem, the mood of panic. It was said 
of Nero that he could tune his harp well, but in government lie always 
wound up the strings too high, or let them down too low. As a people, 
we must guard ourselves against these dangers. Strong nerves, stout 
hearts, cool heads and willing hands are what we need — and unending 
faith. 

A people that wishes to avoid servitude must learn to fight — but 
without discipline, organization, sound strategy and cool courage no 
battle is ever won! 





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